Program lifts fees, increases quality of local lakes

Fishing in Kansas has always been good, but the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' Community Fisheries Assistance Program (CFAP) has improved both angler access and the quality of fisheries. Now in its second year, the program uses federal dollars derived from excise taxes on fishing equipment to lease fishing rights to 215 community lakes statewide, removing fees and improving access to nearly 12,000 acres of fishing waters. To fish in participating CFAP lakes, all a person needs is a Kansas fishing license (unless exempt by law).

Before CFAP, about 55 percent of community fishing lakes charged anglers an access fee. Now, nearly 90 percent of community waters are open to anglers. This is not only good for anglers, but local governments benefit. By participating in the program, cities and counties have increased access to resources and contact with area fisheries biologists, receiving priority status for fish stocking, habitat improvement services, and additional improvement grants.

The CFAP funding formula is based on the number of water surface acres, the quality of the fishery, and facilities offered at these lakes. Larger lakes offering more facilities receive greater lease amounts than smaller lakes with fewer facilities. Lakes that were not charging access fees prior to CFAP are also eligible for the program.

Kansas fishing licenses may be purchased at any KDWP office, at most places that sell fishing tackle, or online . The website also contains information about where you can go fishing in Kansas, including a regional listing of all lakes participating in CFAP.

For more information about CFAP, contact Jessica Mounts at 620-672-5911.